This week in Jerusalem; A round-up of city affairs

What has been going on in Israel's capital this week.

Jerusalem Marathon runners run past the Jerusalem's Old City walls, March 15th, 2019 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Jerusalem Marathon runners run past the Jerusalem's Old City walls, March 15th, 2019
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Presidential aspirations
With Reuven Rivlin in the last year of his presidential term, Prof. Shimon Shetreet, formerly justice minister and deputy mayor at city council, announced this week that he is considering running for the position. Shetreet, 74, was born in Morocco, made aliyah with his family in 1949 and won the International Bible Contest at the age of 13. He currently heads the Sacher Institute of Legislative Research and Comparative Law and holds the Greenblatt chair. In his announcement, Shetreet said that the country needs someone with equanimity in these difficult times of crisis and social rifts.
Talking trash
During the intifada, many trash bins around the capital were removed for fear they would be used to hide bombs. While some were later replaced, the city center has been lacking bins in public areas. Now, as part of the new municipal policy to keep Jerusalem clean, some 700 hundred 90-liter bins have been installed throughout the city center area – primarily beside bus stops, in public parks, along main streets and close to commercial areas.
Youth must be served
The municipality has been endeavoring to equalize the level of services on both sides of the city, but this can be complicated.
Currently, there are three facilities for youth clubs and activities for the 380,000 Arab residents. Yet Jewish residents in predominantly Arab areas, feeling it unsafe to use those facilities, have long been requesting a solution for them.
Accordingly, the municipality has decided to construct a youth club near Ras el-Amud, in the Jewish neighborhood of Ma’alei Zeitim. The planned new club is intended to serve the hundreds of youth of the Jewish families living in the area – although there is not yet an equivalent facility for the Arab residents there. Of the projected NIS 3.5 million cost of the facility, NIS 200,000 has already been approved.
Not in the running
The 2020 Jerusalem Winner Marathon is now officially canceled. It was originally planned for this past March, but was postponed due to the coronavirus onset and rescheduled for November 6. Now it is clear that even that date must be scratched.
The date for the 2021 Marathon has been set for March 12 – hopefully in a city and a world liberated from the pandemic.
The show must go on
The new home for alternative arts and performances opening at the former “Rav-Chen” cinemas compound in the Talpiot Industrial Zone is the largest of its kind in the country.
Benefiting from a NIS 3 million municipal investment, the compound, which includes the seven cinema halls, is now the permanent home of three artistic companies – Mahol Shalem, Ha-Zira and Bein Shamayim La-Aretz – that represent different aspects of alternative performances.
“Haparsa,” the name of the new ompound, is located in a structure belonging to supermarket magnate and former city councilman Rami Levy, who attended the official inauguration ceremony under the auspices of Mayor Moshe Lion. The 2,000-square-meter compound will feature up to 300 performances a year – all in conformance with Health Ministry regulations.
Haparsa is the fulfillment of a concept launched by the municipality through the Eden auxiliary company to bring arts and artistic events to the neighborhood and enlarge the scope of performance facilities for artists who studied in the city and wish to remain here.